Free Your Mind, And Your Legs Will Follow

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bartlett Cyclocross

Kid's Cyclocross

Whose girlfriend says "Lets go to the cyclocross race today." - Awesome

The bottleneck

The werewolf....stalking prey in Bartlett

Barry Wicks creepin

Brian Conant....gunnin it off the start

The beast known as B.C. hung in there for 3rd place - Awesome

Barry Wicks destroyed everyone....

I love watching Cyclocross races. That is all. If you have the chance to go watch one, pick up a six pack of cans, stake out a good spot to watch, and enjoy the race!

- JB

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Zooma Half Marathon

Ari's wife Jamie, all smiles

Ari found a new home and was "racooning"

My awesome girlie....finishing 14/323 and 2nd in her age group!

Jamie finishing up just over 2 hours, great run!

Jill's friend Jean bringing it home

The ladies after the race, all smiles

10 a.m. wine drinking

This cover band was awesome! Check out that coat!


My great friends that I have lost to the one they call "Giggles" laughing matter

This past weekend, the men of the Slender Fungus went to support our ladies in a half marathon. Everyone ran great and we had a beautiful day for the event up in Fontana, WI. The Wisconsin hills punished the women on their run and Jill did an awesome run with an 8:10 average. I was very impressed. We then enjoyed some New Glarus beer and greasey food at a local bar, chatted about life, and then headed home. What a great weekend! I went to check out the cyclcocross race in Bartlett the next to come

- JB

Friday, October 21, 2011

Gypsy Criterion

SFCA headquarters

Gumby's awesome Pugsley paint job

Rainy start to the ride

I will greatly miss my riding partner

The gravel dried out right away and was perfect

Jamie and Ari

7 laps = 7 beans

The Gypsy Criterion had a slow start as The Bonk King, Gumby, and I lined up to ride and wondered where everyone was. Ari and family were sorting through boxes to find cycling clothes for everyone, B.B. and company were in an alcohol induced coma, Uncle Velos showed up shortly for 2 laps, and the last lap Jakey La Cruz showed up for a lap. The ride started with a lot of rain and we wondered if it was going to be like that for 100 miles. As usual...a few of us toughed it out and started riding, rain or shine. The next couple of laps the skies cleared up and the day looked to be getting nicer. The route was perfect and there was no cars on the roads. The loop was about 9 miles long. Ari and I pushed on for 7 laps and called it since he had some family obligations to get to. We spoke about his move to NY and details on the move. I was sad to think this was my last ride with my close friend until Trans Iowa of next year, that really bummed me out! Ended the day with 65 miles and then went pumpkin picking with the girlyfriend. Heading up north this weekend with Jill to watch her and Jamie (Ari's wife) run a half marathon. They have been so good to us with our gravel racing that we need to return the favor. Few miles this week, hope to get more next week. Cheers.

- JB

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Past Couple Of Weeks

Mukluk 2 in stock at Wheel Fast

I was not shocked when I saw this sticker on the back of Ari's car....

Beautiful Sunset over lake Springfield on my commute home the other evening.

Secret project in the works....

Craig Baumann = THE MAN!!! Thanks so much for the Durango Brewing Co Beer!

He tried to pull a fast one on me and hide a MGD in the mix....always keepin it classy!

Gypsy Criterion post coming tomorrow....however there is not much to be said

- JB

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Gypsy Caravan

Full Ride recap is in the works....don't get your panties in a bunch

- JB

Friday, October 14, 2011

Gypsy Criterion 10/16/11

Heading North this weekend for...sadly....Ari's last Midwest Slender Fungus Ride. The Gypsy CriterION, will consist of boozing, debauchery, gypsy antics, "tokens", hopefully no "crystals", and riding a 10 mile gravel loop 10 times to get to the magic 100 miles. I have been growing my beard out to fit into this new Gypsy clan of riders. Looking forward to riding with some great people and laughing until I shit my pants.

- Cookie Monster

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Riding as of late

My commute this morning, tons of fresh leaves on the trail after a storm

The church trails covered in leaves, I try and incorporate these mountain bike trails into my commute as often as possible

Took a 55 mile ride on the cross bikes with the racers up to some trails by New Salem. This is an example of idiot drunk drivers...and how euro cool andy lister is

Cruisin, beautiful day

Andy says to Mike..."Hey lets go check out those mountain bike trails" and then he gets two flats and proceeds to take us on the worst mountain bike trails I have EVER ridden

Sunset on my commute home

Currently one of two bikes that I Surly Steamroller....I love this bike

Get some nuts and ride your bikes

- JB

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Premium Rush

Is this for real??? Modern day Quicksilver?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Some Friends

I made some friends up north.... Two of my favorite beers...

Drink up and ride your bikes! Chin up, Zipper down!

- JB

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Heck of the North Recap

The finishing hill of the race....Enlarge this photo to see the two riders going up it. Jeremy Kershaw is a cruel man

Made the solo trip up to Duluth, MN this past weekend to represent the Slender Fungus in the 3rd annual Heck of the North put on by Jeremy Kershaw. The 10 hour, 600 mile drive was worth being up in this beautiful area of the country. As soon as I got to Jeremy's house he was very welcoming and I met the rest of his family. They offered me food and for me to camp in their backyard for the evening. I graciously accepted.

Stopped at the Burrito Union before the race for dinner and had a beer and some fish tacos and chatted with some of the Duluth locals. They brewed their own beer there which was cool. Then I headed back to Jeremy's to get some shut eye before the race.

The backyard at the Kershaw compound. Met and camped with Chirs Skogen who puts on the Almanzo and Royal 162 races earlier in the season. I am going to register for the Royal 162 this coming year and Chris said he knew my friend Mike B...the bonk King! I told him we rode together during the SFCA Fruit Loop. The morning was around 35 degrees and the ground had frost on it when I woke up. I decided to stick with my plan of wearing knickers, craft base layer, rapha wool jersey, and salsa longsleeve jersey with a cycling cap under the helmet, wool socks and wool gloves.

I met the DBD at the beginning of the race, said hello and intruduced myself again. Gave them some whiskey provided by Ari and then finished getting ready myself. Everyone was in the same boat at this time playing the game: what should I wear for the race??

We began to line up at around 8 a.m. and the sun began to rise and warm our anxious souls.

Jeremy made some announcements for the "ride" and then hopped on his little sputtering moped and we rolled out. I was expecting that as soon as we let us go there would be a sprint and some jockeying for position. This was not the case. We all rolled out through the outskirts of Duluth together. Small attacks would come and go and we would yo-yo a little bit but no one ever broke free. I would take pulls where I could and tried to stay at the front and maintain contact with the leaders.

Charlie Farrow (above) would roll up next to me and smile and make some small talk. It was great to be riding with such strong riders and legends in their own right. These are the tough men of the Death Before Dishonor Crew...and I was trying to hang with them. They were cool and collected. Tim Ek seemed a little more nervous wondering when the break would come, wondering where the next attack would come....he was racing from the get go. I hung with the leaders for 40 miles, then there was a near wreck as a turn wasn't called out and riders started darting into the woods at the first trail section. I got mid pack and took off for some thick water and mud. I hopped off of the bike and carried it through this section. These riders were from northern MN and had mountain bike skills where I did not. There handling was tuned and they cruised through this section. I had a harder time and lost some time in this section. I came out of it and rejoined with a group of riders and headed into the halfway mark. I refueled with what little water was provided and Mr. Farrow (who pinch flatted) didn't even stop at the checkpoint. He knew the course, breezed through, and upon leaving....looked back at me with his dark eyes as if to say...."come on...lets go, back on the bike". Shortly after I was back on the bike and the legs were burning from the previous trail section. I wouldn't see the leaders until the end of the race.

Not shortly after that there was another trail section. I was burnt up and the legs were cramping. I wasn't used to this kind of riding. I stayed with a pack of riders and did my best to push through the trail. This was a near breaking point for me. I would grunt out loud and sigh just to get some of my frustration out. I was back on the gravel and moving again...

A lot of the gravel was heavily wash-boarded and made for a rough time in finding a decent line on the roads. I was riding alone for most of the second half of the race, trying to get some power back in my legs, eating as much and when I could and trying to ration my water for the end of the race. The wind would not stop and the large pine trees on either sides of the road made somewhat of a funnel for the wind. I needed to find a group to ride in but one never came....

Coming over a hill I got a glimpse of the lake in the distance and put the pedals to work. I was 20 miles away and knew I could suffer for a little while to finish at a decent time. I figured the leaders had already completed the course and Meiser and Ek were in the top spots. The last 10 miles were tough with a few very hilly sections and a small trail section that wasn't too bad. I hit the last climb with everything I had (first photo on the post) and made it to the finish. Jeremy congratulated me and told me a time which I heard six...forty... something, I expected to run around 6:20....and could have done so without the cramps that came on the second half. Next year I will return stronger. The results on the Heck blog said 35/112. Not bad

This photo has generated great controversy amongst the DBD.... Tim Ek came up to me after the race and told me I did a good job and that there were at least 20 guys in the race that had a chance of winning the thing. This was comforting and I agreed that there were some extremely strong riders in the group. Tim told me the race only got faster and he was maxed out on many occaisions. Great race to the top guys and everyone who rode their hearts out on the course. The Heck is a young race but seems to be gaining popularity and coming into its own....Tim has a great write up on his blog. I enjoyed a nordeast and some chips after the race and then met Charles Parsons (3 time Trans Iowa finisher and general strong man) at the burrito union and we shared stories of the race over beers and burritos.

The after party was at Jason Buffington's house and he had 4 delicious homebrews on tap for his guests. A big thanks to him and his family for having everyone over. More stories were told and friendships made. Charlie brought over his new pup named Loki...what a cool dog. It was great talking to all of the gravel racers and their different experiences. I heard an interesting story of the stressful lives of criminals as well....The pugs stout was great and I enjoyed several before calling it a night and heading back to the tent. I awoke in the morning to bid farewell to Jeremy and thank him for everything he had done for me and putting on a superb race. I will be back next year for sure! Great times in the north woods with some great racers and great people!

Beware of the men of the DBD.... they are crafty ones....

A big thanks to some people that made this ride happen:

The Arik and Holly Bruene Foundation for their generous contributions

The Andonopolous family for their encouragement and junk food

Wheel Fast Bicycle Co for allowing me to take a few days off of work

My girlyfriend for being supportive of these races

The Kershaw family for their generosity

The DBD for their comradery

Thanks again,

JB - "Cookie"